One of the most crowded booths at Computex 2015 was MSI's, which is fully justified as the company showed off a plethora of new products including its latest graphics cards, mainboards and gaming laptops. One item that caught our attention, though, was an innovative sound technology from Nahimic software.
MSI teamed up with Nahimic, a company created in 2004 by two French engineers, to bring a new audio experience to its gaming products.
Simply put, Nahimic has implemented sound enhancement software that offers a virtual surround experience even through plain headphones and speakers, meaning that no special hardware is necessary for it to work. In addition, the software uses frequency leveler abilities, including a bass boost. On top of that, it enhances voice clarity in order for the user to be able to hear voices better, whether that's in-game or over Twitch or Skype, using noise gate and noise reduction.
In the recording section, Nahimic's software offers a voice leveler function that automatically adjusts the volume of your voice. It also removes 90 percent of the background noise, at least according to the company's claims. All of the above can be accomplished without any calibration, because all voice effects are dynamically adjusted through the software, which monitors constant feedback of the background noise.
You can adjust most of the settings with simple sliders (see image above), including the reverb and volume, and you can also record your voice when appropriate.
At MSI's booth, we had the chance to experience firsthand the Nahimic software while playing a game using a SteelSeries gaming headphones set. With the Nahimic in action, the difference in listening to the game's sounds was impressive. However, the most notable part was the ability to record our own voices with most of the background noise removed.
Nahimic is already embedded on MSI GE and GS series notebooks, and on many MSI All-in-Ones. It is compatible with Windows 8.1 and needs an MSI device in order to run.
We can't fully verify all of Nahimic's performance claims -- what is "90 percent" exactly, anyway? -- but what the software has going for it is that special sauce of using a relatively simple process to solve a nagging problem.
The Nahimic software doesn't actually do anything to the audio signal that you or I couldn't do manually using free audio software. In fact, when we asked to see a representation of the audio waves, a booth rep simply pulled up Audacity to show us. (Audacity is a free audio editor that's been around for years.) If you know what you're doing, you could reproduce Nahimic's results with free software and a few clicks.
The thing that Nahimic brings here, though, is an automated and -- most importantly -- real-time process. The software performs those simple tweaks instantaneously, and going from the demo we experienced, the company's claims are justified. The results before and after were dramatic.